Travel and Culture in Song China

Transformative JourneysDuring the Song (960-1279), all educated Chinese men traveled frequently, journeying long distances to attend school and take civil service examinations. They crisscrossed the country to assume government posts, report back to the capital, and return home between assignments and to attend to family matters. Based on a wide array of texts, Transformative Journeys: Travel and Culture in Song China, by Cong Ellen Zhang, analyzes the impact of travel on this group of elite men and the places they visited.

Transformative Journeys breaks new and important ground in a number of areas, but most importantly, it demonstrates the ubiquitous and influential role of travel in Song culture. Zhang’s command of the relevant primary sources is astounding; her scholarship is sound; and her findings are reasonable and convincing. Her book represents a major contribution to the field of China studies in general and Song dynasty studies in particular.” —James Hargett, SUNY Albany

October 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3399-2 / $49.00 (CLOTH)